In Feeling Normal—However It is—Again

An old acquaintance of mine once implied that I looked at life in such a bizarre way. I believe his exact words were, "The way you walk... It's like you're in the movie or something." I then laughed heartily because sometimes that was exactly how I treated life and the things in itI just couldn't quite figure out how to put it into words until then.

That was a scene from years ago though, back when I was still eighteen. I assume everyone has this time in their life when building images of how they want their future to look like is at its peak, and with so many alternatives to choose from, it seems fine to adapt the devil-may-care attitude. And I too. Being young and having nothing figured out turned out to be the two essential things I needed to be carefree. It’s easy, albeit very stupid, to think that since the world was in the palm of my hand there’s absolutely no need to rush things up.

I guess it’s a common drill then: to be impulsive, nonchalant, and a teenager. I used to be a dreamer who wanted to live in New York so bad. For several unfinished attempts, working on my own book was the sole motivation in sleeping late and waking early. I practically wasted a whole good year when I decided to change major. In a circle, whichever it was, my goal was to make the others laugh with some impromptu jokes. Those were all back when weekends were sacred wholly for hanging out and having funnothing more, nothing less.

I don’t know where the starting point is, but it sure seems like on the cusp of adulthood, that so-called olf self is slowly dwindling. More than one year through the pandemic might have more to do to it than I have already realized. I have become more grown-up and mature, which is something I certainly am very proud of. I no longer possess the desire to prove myself to anyone, which, I believe, is a phase almost every teenager has to go through to know themselves. I now consider staying at home and chilling in bed with the company of good drink and books a treasure, and it's not even because of the lockdown. After a week of jobs and duties, I find too much hanging out... exhausting.

With that though, comes a question that varies itself into several similar branches. Where is that person who used to be amongst the craziest, jolliest ones in the group? (Geez, is that even a thing?). Where is that kid who used to think that spending a Saturday at home was lame? (Odd. Just odd). Where is that girl who thought she would be living the time of her life at work with new friends and even newer challenges? (Is she ironically the quiet one over there?). So honestly, where am I in life, really? I'm not going anywhere strange for sure, but why is the mirror reflecting a version of myself I'm not quite familiar with?

Perhaps, this is why people claim adulting is weird. I may be becoming positively comfortable and more confident, but I also find myself getting a little timider and much too careful. Each step I take hinges on whether or not I should be doing this or that. I dissect every option available so that I won't regret the choice I'm opting for. To sum up, it feels like every detail of the society’s rules has been pinning me down lately and not the other way around. And the outcome of my cautiousness? I'm walking on a very safe line over here so there is not much to discuss but the bottom line is it's not fun; a little tiring even.

In doing what is called for, my mind has been wandering around this issue a lot these past months. To put the matter in a nutshell, between this growing realization and my past commitment to treat life like you're in a sugar rush, I have come to an understanding that being a grown-up doesn't mean you should stop having fun. Who says we can't be enjoying our time at home and still be the jolliest or even the funniest one? Who says we can't be quiet or loud or anything in between if we choose to? Who says we should be treading the safest lane in the street when we have the capacity to walk on a cobblestone?

On a different tone now: who says we ditch being too careful all the time because life is full of surprises and it's the experiences we're living for?

Even adulting is not about being serious all the time, isn't it? I want to be too timid no more. Life is not always about being right, after all. It's about being good too. I think it's not wrong to want adulting to be something fun. Something that pushes us forward to be the version of ourselves we feel the most content with. Maybe, this is the start where I become more mature while still 'treating life like I'm in the movie or something' again.